United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey T. Gilbert United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings [ECF No. 151] and Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 153]. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court grants in part and denies in part
Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. To the
extent Defendants' arguments are not rendered moot by the
Court's ruling on the Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings, the Court denies Defendants' Motion for
Tony Lyles, a former pre-trial detainee in Cook County,
Illinois, was held at the Cook County Jail from approximately
February of 2013 until September of 2015. At four separate
court appearances - on July 24, 2013, November 18, 2013,
December 19, 2013, and October 16, 2014 - Plaintiff alleges
Cook County correctional officers violated his constitutional
Juiy 24, 2013 Incident
24, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that Officer Michael Seropian
used excessive force against him and that Sergeant Joe
Gambino and Officer Fitzpatrick Allen were deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs. [Plaintiffs Third Amended
Complaint, ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 30, 33]. According to
Plaintiff, after a court proceeding on July 24th, Officer
Seropian yanked on his arm while he was handcuffed and threw
him against an elevator door, causing injuries to his left
shoulder, back, wrist, and neck. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶
4-7]. After he was returned to the jail and placed in a
holding cell, Plaintiff alleges that he asked Sergeant
Gambino and Officer Allen to take him to Cermak Health
Services but they refused. [ECF No. 137 ¶ 8].
same day, on July 24, 2013, Plaintiff filed a separate
grievance and non-grievance request related to the incident.
[DSOMF, ECF Nos. 155-4, 155-5]. The grievance was marked with
control number 2013x2879 and described an unnamed bailiff
making contact with Plaintiffs left shoulder, resulting in
pain and injury. [ECF No. 155-4, p. 1-2]. On August 10, 2013,
Plaintiff received and signed for a response to grievance
2013x2879. [ECF Nos. 155-4, p. 4; Plaintiffs Response to
DSOMF, ECF No. 166 ¶ 14]. On August 14, 2013, the Cook
County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC")
responded to Plaintiffs non-grievance request, which asked
for the identity of the bailiff in courtroom 307 and
described Sergeant Gambino's and Officer Allen's
conduct. [ECF No. 155-5, p. 6; ECF No. 166 ¶ 20]. Eight
days later, on August 22, 2013, Plaintiff was transferred to
Kankakee County Jail. [ECF No. 155-3 ¶ 16; PSOMF, ECF
No. 167-1 ¶ 4]. CCDOC's response identifying the
bailiff involved as Deputy Sheriff Michael Seropian * 10995
was sent to Plaintiff at Kankakee. [ECF No. 155-5, p. 6].
However, due to his transfer, Plaintiff was not able to sign
for the response to his non-grievance request. [ECF No.
155-5, p. 6; ECF No. 166 ¶ 21].
October 10, 2013, Plaintiff returned to Cook County Jail.
[ECF No. 155-3 ¶ 17; ECF No. 167-1 ¶ 13]. At that
time, according to CCDOC, he was afforded an additional
fourteen days to appeal grievance 2013x2879 and re-submit his
non-grievance request as a formal grievance. [ECF No. 155-3
¶¶ 18, 22], Plaintiff did not appeal grievance
2013x2879, nor did he re-submit his non-grievance request.
[ECF No. 155-3 ¶¶ 18, 22; ECF No. 166 ¶ 15].
November 18, 2013 Incident
November 18, 2013, Plaintiff attended another court
appearance where he alleges Officer Seropian used excessive
force against him and Sergeant Gambino was deliberately
indifferent to his medical needs. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶
30. 33]. Specifically. Plaintiff alleges that Officer
Seropian pushed him while leading him out of the courtroom
and yanked on his handcuffs, reinjuring his shoulder, back,
neck, and wrist. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 11-14]. He further
alleges that Sergeant Gambino refused to take him to a
doctor, despite his complaints of pain. [ECF No. 137
¶¶ 15, 16]. There is no evidence Plaintiff
submitted a grievance related to the November 18, 2013
incident. [ECF No. 166 ¶¶ 10, 11].
December 19, 2013 Incident
court appearance on December 19, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that
Officer Seropian used excessive force by handcuffing
Plaintiff tightly behind his back, causing pain to his wrists
and shoulders. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 17, 18, 30].
Plaintiff further claims that Officer Edward Hopkins used
excessive force by grabbing Plaintiff from behind and
dragging him from the courtroom, causing pain and injury.
[ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 19, 30]. According to Plaintiff,
both officers failed to intervene to prevent the injury by
the other. [ECF No. 137 ¶ 31]. There is no evidence
Plaintiff submitted a grievance related to the December 19,
2013 incident. [ECF No. 166 ¶¶ 10,
October 16, 2014 Incident
October 16, 2014, Plaintiff alleges that Officer Hopkins used
excessive force in carrying out a judge's order to remove
Plaintiff from a courtroom. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 21-27,
30], Plaintiff asserts that as he was led out of the
courtroom, Officer Hopkins twice forced him into a seat in
the gallery, causing pain to Plaintiffs neck, back, and
injured shoulder. [ECF No. 137 ¶¶ 25, 27].
Plaintiff filed a grievance that same day referencing
excessive use of force by "Officer Higgins." [ECF
No. 155-6]. The grievance was given control number 2014x6354
and processed as an emergency grievance. [ECF No. 155-6, p.
1, 4; ECF No. 166 ¶¶ 25, 26]. On October 23, 2014,
Plaintiff received and signed for a response to that
grievance, which indicated that the complaint had been
directed to the Office of Professional Responsibility
("OPR") for review. [ECF No. 155-6. p. 1, 4; ECF
No. 166 ¶¶ 25, 26; ECF No. 155-4, p.3-4]. Plaintiff
did not appeal grievance 2014x6354. [ECF No. 155-4 ¶ 27;
ECF No. 166 ¶ 27].
February 26, 2014, Plaintiff filed suit alleging improper use
of force and deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs by "Tom Dart," "Sergent Gambine,"
"Officer Allen," and three unknown officers
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [ECF No. 1 ]. Plaintiff
was allowed to proceed against Sheriff Tom Dart as a nominal
defendant for the limited purpose of identifying the officers
whose names he did not know. [ECF No. 5].
20, 2015, Plaintiff filed his first amended complaint, which
the Court struck for failure to comply with repeated court
orders. [ECF Nos. 37, 43]. Plaintiffs second amended
complaint, dated November 3, 2015, was accepted by the Court
with some limitation. [ECF Nos. 49, 51, 52]. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915 A, the Court permitted Plaintiff to
proceed with claims from incidents on July 24, 2013, November
18, 2013, December 19, 2013, and October 16, 2014. [ECF No.
51]. Specifically, the Plaintiff was allowed to proceed
against "Officer Michael Seropian" for excessive
use of force, failure to intervene, and deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs on July 24, 2013,
excessive use of force and failure to intervene on November
18, 2013, and excessive use of force and failure to intervene
on December 19, 2013. The Court further permitted Plaintiff
to proceed with his claims against "Officer Fitzpatrick
Allen" and "Sergeant Joe Gambino" for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs on July
24, 2013. Finally, the Court allowed Plaintiff to proceed
against "Officer Poe Higgins" for excessive use of
force and failure to intervene on both December 19, 2013 and
October 16, 2014. All claims against Tom Dart and
"'Unknown Officers" were dismissed. The
court's order further cautioned Plaintiff that allowing
the claims to proceed did not preclude Defendants from
raising any applicable affirmative defenses, including the
statute of limitations. [ECF No. 51, n.2].
a few months, Plaintiff filed a proposed complaint that the
Court determined was substantially identical to the second
amended complaint discussed above. It was therefore stricken.
[ECF Nos. 53, 54]. On February 22, 2016, the Court dismissed
"Officer Poe Higgins" from the suit without
prejudice, as the summons served on the Cook County Sheriffs
Office found no employee by the name of "Officer Poe
Higgins." [ECF Nos. 62, 64]. On March 26, 2018,
Plaintiff filed his third amended complaint. [ECF No. 137].
It was accepted for the limited purpose of naming
"Officer Edward Hopkins" in the place of
"Officer Poe I-Iiggins." [ECF No. 136]. On November
28, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) [ECF